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Playground, Not Battleground: Finding a Dog’s Perfect Playmate with Jean Donaldson

Playground, Not Battleground: Finding a Dog's Perfect Playmate with  Jean Donaldson


April 22, 2024 - April 30, 2028    
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm (ET)


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Webinar Description

Play can be a polarizing topic among dog behavior professionals, with points of view ranging from completely sequestering dogs from novel dogs and dog parks to never intervening in dog affairs but rather “letting them work it out.” This presentation will champion neither of these points of view and instead will explore how to maximize the chances of one’s dog having the greatest amount of choice and access to his or her own species, while assessing and minimizing risk and the inevitable trade-offs, regardless of one’s personal bias regarding access to dogs. An overview of normal play will also be presented.

Learning Objectives

  • Normalize personal bias and understand the trade-offs in decision making about play.
  • Recognize what to look for in play vs. red herrings that are less relevant.
  • Learn rules of thumb for avoiding serious mishaps.

Your Presenter – Jean Donaldson

Jean is the founder and principal instructor of The Academy for Dog Trainers. The Academy has trained and certified over 800 trainers in evidence-based dog behavior, training, teaching and behavior counseling since 1999. She is a four-time winner of The Dog Writers’ Association of America’s Maxwell Award, and her books include The Culture Clash, Oh Behave! Dogs From Pavlov to Premack to Pinker, and Train Like a Pro. In 2017, Jean was recruited to create Dog Training 101 for The Great Courses.

Born in Montreal, Canada, Jean founded the Montreal Flyball Association, and Renaissance Dog Training, the first positive reinforcement-based school and counseling service in the province. Her own dogs and dogs she has trained have earned numerous titles and wins in a variety of dog sports, including OTCh, TDX, HIT and FDCh. While a student, she worked as an adoption counselor at the Montreal SPCA and later served on its Board of Directors. Before founding The Academy, Jean did exclusively referral aggression cases for six years. She lives in Oakland, California, with her dog, Brian, adopted in 2015.


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